Downtown Lexington KY park closing early for safety concerns

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Mayor Linda Gorton, center, joined with Police Chief Lawrence Weathers, left, and One Lexington director Devine Carama, right, to address the record number of annual homicides set in 2021.

Mayor Linda Gorton, center, joined with Police Chief Lawrence Weathers, left, and One Lexington director Devine Carama, right, to address the record number of annual homicides set in 2021.

mdorsey@herald-leader.com

Henry A. Tandy Centennial Park will close one hour earlier as part of efforts to increase public safety in downtown Lexington, Mayor Linda Gorton’s office announced Thursday.

The park will now close at 2 a.m. instead of 3 a.m., effective immediately, Gorton said in a news release.

“We have been working with businesses through our Downtown Safety Work Group to take steps to improve safety in the area in and around the park,” Gorton said. “Several members of the Work Group recommended closing the park earlier.”

Signage will alert visitors to the new hours and remind them that it is illegal to carry alcohol through the park.

Police will also bag, or cover, meters along Short Street near the park. The city is considering adding additional lights in the park. The change in park hours comes one day after the mayor’s office sent out a release discussing other public safety improvements.

Extra officers and sheriff’s deputies have been assigned downtown. Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers is reconfiguring where they are stationed, and reexamining their assignments.

The Downtown Safety group, which began meeting last year, continues to address concerns in bars and restaurants, property security measures and ABC training. Bar owners have been helpful in working through problems, responding to concerns and shortening their hours, the release stated.

Taylor Six is the criminal justice reporter at the Herald-Leader. She was born and raised in Lexington attending Lafayette High School. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 2018 with a degree in journalism. She previously worked as the government reporter for the Richmond Register.





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